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June 2010

Problems, You Think You Got Problems? You Got Nothing!



What’s your problem?  No really, what’s your problem? What’s that one thing that is eating away at you that you just want to get up and scream about at the top of your lungs?  What is pissing you off!?  Think about it for a second because I know there is something.  What is the biggest thing that is going on in your world at this very moment that is just making you insane, the one thing that you just wish you could do something about?  Is it that your kids don’t call you enough?  Is it that one is stoned all of the time or that you think your wife is cheating on you?  Is it that you regret not going to med school and life insurance sales is just not working out for you?  Is it that your friends have a bigger house than you do or that your partner who you thought you could trust has been embezzling from you for the past five years? Maybe you think you need to loose ten pounds, or maybe you’re morbidly obese and can’t figure out why you use food to comfort the pain that your obsessive eating is really all about.   Maybe you think that your problems actually matter!  To be honest I have no idea what your problem is but I’m gonna tell you right now… GET OVER IT!  DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!  STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF AND TAKE CHARGE!  Because the truth is nobody gives a crap about your problem because we all got problems and everyone thinks theirs is more important than yours is.  So do something about it and stop wining about it on Twitter!
Let’s put your “problems” in perspective here.  The reality is, your "problems" pale in comparison to what is going on in the world right now!  I mean really, the U.S. just lost in the first elimination round at the World Cup! (Yea, like we really cared.  We don’t even call the sport by its real name.  Unless your native land is somewhere in Europe the last soccer match you watched was between bunches of kids while you sat in a folding chair playing games on your iPhone.  The U.S. has given new meaning to the phrase ‘fair weather fan’) The real truth is none of your problems really matter in comparison and if you think they do pick up a news paper. At this very moment man is destroying the earth. Ok, BP is destroying the earth, but we sure are not helping any with our complete dependence on oil in this country.  We have the technology to run cars on hydrogen but refuse to invest in the infrastructure to make it happen.  You can get almost anywhere in Europe on high speed rail but if we did that here it might just damage our failing auto industry, create thousands of jobs, and g-d forbid reduce our dependence on oil.  And how about bottled water, the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the American people.  Some how the beverage industry convinced us to pay for something that you can get right out of your tap, something that is regulated and tested for drinking safety by the EPA, unlike bottled water. Do you know how many inspectors the FDA employs to inspect bottled water plants?  One, yea that’s right one, so basically none.  In addition it takes 47 million gallons of oil, (you know that stuff leaking into the Gulf,) per year to create the 1.5 million tons of plastic water bottles produced each year that are thrown into landfills and the ocean.  Not to mention all of the oil needed to transport all those bottles of water from the plants to the supermarkets.  And guess where Aquafina and Dasani get there water from?  Queens, NY and Jacksonville, FL tap water!  In effect, the beverage industry is selling snow to Eskimos.  C’mon people, there is an oil spill in the Gulf bigger than Rhode Island and we’re using napkins to clean blades of grass.  To quote a recent Facebook status update by my “Facebook friend” and Second City Alum, David Razowski, “We HAVE to stop calling this a ‘spill’. A ‘spill’ is tiny. This is not a ‘spill’, this is a ‘disaster’.”  The Exxon Valdez was a spill, a huge spill mind you that destroyed countless wildlife, but a spill none the less.  This is disaster on the level of biblical prophecy! BP opened up a f!@*kin portal of doom that has unleashed a demonic poison killing everything in its path and has destroyed the lives and lively hood of millions of Americans from Louisiana to the Florida Keys.  Man, I hope Tony Hayward gets his way of life back soon. So how are your problems looking now?
Oh, and then there is Iraq and Afghanistan.  The chief commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, just got caught bad mouthing the President in Rolling Stone Magazine, whereas the President responded with “I’m rubber and you’re glue, what ever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!” Then he fired him.  So now our leadership appears weak, we are in the middle of the longest war in our nation’s history, more soldiers have died in Afghanistan this year alone then in all the other years of the war combined, and Osama Bin Laden is probably drinking Mai Tais at the Fontainebleau in Miami.  Seriously, nobody would even think of looking for him there.  So as Michelle said to Barak while they privately celebrated there win against John McCain on election night, “Mr President, it’s time to pull out!”  While I applaud the President for wanting to finish what his predecessor did not, it’s never gonna happen.  And as for Iraq, (yea Sarah Palin, it’s Iraq with a Q, not Iran, you stupid bimbo!) Cheney’s buddies at Halliburton and Blackwater made their money, George W. made daddy proud by overthrowing Saddam, and we poured billions into rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure, while at home our roads and bridges crumble all around us, our educations system is going bankrupt, and our economy is nearing complete economic collapse once again, and you got problems?
Foreclosures are at their highest ever.  More Americans are out of work then any time in our history. Illegal immigrants are running over the border stealing those coveted busboy, car wash attendant, and lawn care jobs that we all want so much, and any terrorist fresh from the Al Qaeda school for hating Americans can walk into a gun show and buy as many semi-automatic rifles as they want.  At least my problems are gone because I have a business idea that is guaranteed to make me rich, pure Artesian Mountain Bottled Air.  Just don’t tell anybody it’s really from Queens, NY.


Everyone Deserves a Fathers Day, My Dad Had Forty Nine


"By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong." -- Charles Wadsworth


This will be my first fathers day with out my dad.  He died in late December just before new years of cancer of the biliary duct, a cancer that is very hard to detect and often is not discovered until the later stages.  He went way too soon and way too fast. He was diagnosed in August of 2009 and in just over four months he was gone.  This is the same cancer that took the life of the Chicago Bears, Walter Peyton.  My father was an incredible man and although we didn’t always see eye to eye, I am the man and the father I am today because of him.  I catch my self saying things to my kids, my boy who’s six, and my daughter who’s three, that sound exactly the same as how my father said these things to me.  I find myself making jokes exactly like my father did and even sometimes disciplining in ways he did.  I find that sometimes I sound like my father so much that I don’t need to miss him, because he is right here.  All I have to do is talk and I hear him.  I am truly the dad I am today because of him. 
But I was lucky because I got to have my father for the first 43 years of my life.  Many aren’t that lucky.  Today I went to a Cubs game and sitting in front of me were a bunch of guys in their twenties.  I over heard one ask the other if he was going to Afghanistan or Iraq, and all I could think to myself was, I hope this kid comes back in one piece.  I hope he gets to see his father again.  I hope he doesn’t have any kids he is leaving behind and if he does, I hope they get to see him come back home soon.  I hope his time there doesn’t leave him harmed mentally rendering him unable to deal with life, taking away his ability to feel for his family.  I hope he comes back with two arms so that he can hug his kids good night, and with both legs so that he can play soccer with them. And even if he doesn’t have any kids, a wife, or a father or mother that is still around, I just hope he comes back.  Because this fathers day there are way too many boys and girls, wives and girlfriends that are not going to be able to spend this fathers day with there fathers, husbands and boy friends.  There are way too many boys and men who have served honorably in these wars and have either come home in body bags or have come home with parts of themselves missing either physically or mentally. 
The hard truth is defeating Al Qaeda will not stop terrorism. Capturing Osama Bin Laden will not stop terrorism.  In fact there is nothing that will stop terrorism.  This is an ongoing threat that is not confined to one group or one boarder.  This is not like other battles where the enemy is clear and sheer firepower can eliminate them.  This enemy is everywhere, hiding in the shadows, living in our neighborhoods, working at our companies in every western country that shows any kind of sympathy to either the U.S. or Israel.  If Osama bin Laden is captured, (and since he has not been caught by now I seriously question our ability to do so) an other leader will arise.  If Al Qaeda is eliminated another group will arise.  Why?  Because there enough Muslim extremists who hate us and our way of life that eliminating one group or one leader will not make a bit of difference.
What we must do is continue to do what President Obama did when he spoke to the Muslim world in Egypt shortly after taking office.  We must bridge the gaps between our two cultures.  We must come to understand each other.  We must preach the message of tolerance and acceptance.  We must make the Muslim world see that we are not the enemy, but instead the true enemy is the fraction of Muslims who preach extremism, those Muslims who commit terrorism in the name of Allah, those Muslims who give there religion the reputation of being killers and murders when in fact most Muslims are peace loving and only want to practice there religion in the same way that Jews, Christians and all other religions in the world do, with out the stigma of terrorism attached to it.  We must be diligent in reminding the rest of the world what the President said during his speech in Egypt, “The dream of opportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promise exists for all who come to our shores - that includes nearly seven million American Muslims in our country today who enjoy incomes and education that are higher than average.
Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state of our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That is why the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it. So let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America.” 
This is the message that needs to be continuously reinforced to Muslims around the world, the message of tolerance, that we are not the enemy, that the true enemy are the terrorists that use the Muslim religion to justify there illegal terrorist actions, that to commit murder in the name of Allah is to defile the word of Mohamed. And if we can do that the Muslim world will become our partners in stopping the terrorists, not our foes.  By embracing the Muslim world it does not mean we are abandoning the other religions in our country.  It means that we are fulfilling the promise of our constitution and the American dream, the promise of freedom of religion, and the separation of church and state.  It means that we are supporting our values that have made all religions flourish in this land with out the threat of persecution.
Too many wars have been fought in the name of religion.  Too many people have died because of false impressions and misunderstandings.  Too many fathers have lost the opportunity to ever see there children again, to put there arms around there loved ones, to watch there kids grow up and to take part in shaping there lives, and hear there little boys and girls say to them, Happy Fathers Day.





Peace Ship To The Gaza Strip, What The Media Left Out


"Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it." - Adolf Hitler


Recently it was widely reported that Israeli soldiers boarded a ship that was filled with peace activists delivering humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and in cold blood murdered nine of these peace activists. When I first heard this, like many people around the world did, I thought to myself, how terrible, why would Israeli soldiers do such a thing? At first I figured it must be true. Every major news organization in the world was reporting this. I’m sure they have double and triple checked the facts before reporting such a horrific story. But then after thinking about it for a while I thought to myself, there has got to be more to this. Is it possible that the media is not getting the full story and has unfairly put out a worldwide report that completely vilifies Israel? Is it possible that the worldwide media is not being objective? Is it possible that some key elements about this incident may have been left out? This is what I needed to find out. Well as it turns out there were multiple cameras that just happen to catch the event on tape. Now for some strange reason none of these were shown on the world wide media but never the less, they did exist. There was a camera on board the ship that was reported to be attacked. And there were cameras being used by the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) during the reported attack to document the encounter not unlike police in the U.S. use video to document traffic stops. Now just to make something clear here, in my research my agenda was not necessarily to dispute the reports but simply to see what else I could find to support or not support the reports in the media. What I ended up finding is video that seemed to tell a different story then what the media had reported. Before you read on I ask that you watch these short videos and then judge for yourself. It would be interesting to see what world opinion would be if these videos had been included as part of the media's initial reporting.







I watched these videos and could only come to the following conclusions. First, who ever brought this story to the press had clear intentions of how they wanted the world to view this incident, because what was reported was obviously either not the complete story or just a plain fabrication. Second, if there were peace activists on that boat they were either the most violent peace activists I have ever seen or they were far out numbered by non-peaceful terrorists. My favorite line about this incident came from Jon Stewart of The Daily Show when he said, “The activists said they never attacked the soldiers. They thought Israel was welcoming them with commando shaped piñatas.”

Before I go on let’s at least agree on some realities. First, humanitarian aid is needed in the Gaza Strip. Israel has imposed a military blockade in the region for the purpose of disarming Hamas Terrorists and other Palestinian militants. The blockade is not there to deprive civilians of humanitarian goods that are needed to survive. It is there to block the inflow of arms to Gaza. Israel has an approved method for letting in humanitarian aid. Part of that method includes the right to inspect ships that are reported to be carrying aid to make sure that there are no military arms being smuggled in on these ships. Second, the Palestinians are never going to give up fighting for a homeland. Third, the State of Israel will now and for ever defend its right to exist.

Now with that said was Israel wrong in there actions when they boarded this ship? Like I said Israel is enforcing a blockade to the Gaza Strip in order to reduce the amount of arms being smuggled in. This was a routine search simply to confirm what cargo this ship was carrying. Five other ships were searched right before this ship and there were no incidents. The facts are Israel is at war. The main group that Israel is at war with is Hamas. Hamas is the main elected ruling party in the Gaza Strip. The United States, Israel, Canada, The United Kingdom, Australia, The European Union and Japan all consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization. Hamas has never stated publicly that they desire peace with Israel, recognize Israel’s right to exist, or denounce terrorism. And Israel, like the United States, does not negotiate with terrorists. Israel held the same policy with the PLO until it agreed to denounce terrorism, and recognize Israel’s right to exist. That was when Israel agreed to peaceful negotiations with the PLO or as it is now know, the Palestinian Authority, as the official representatives of the Palestinian people. In 2005 Israel withdrew from Gaza and turned the region over to the Palestinian Authority. This was basically Israels put up or shut up moment. As it turned out the Palestinian Authority could not effectively manage a falafel stand in the Gaza Strip and could not get Hamas to agree to the same conditions to peace that they did. At this point Hamas stepped in. It is said that if you want to get the people on your side, provide them with food, housing, security and education and this is exactly what Hamas was able to do for the people of Gaza. Eventually Hamas was elected the ruling authority in Gaza. And since Israel and most western counties consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization this left Israel with no legitimate authority to negotiate with. Hamas has continued to attack Israel from within the Gaza Strip with continuous rounds of mortar fire. In addition Hamas has chosen to use buildings such as schools and civilian housing areas to store arms supplies. This has put innocent civilians in harms way and many civilians have died due to this policy. The problem is that the people of Gaza have chosen to accept Hamas, a terrorist organization, to represent them, and Israel will not negotiate with terrorists. So basically we are left to bang our heads against a wall. There is no dispute that all parties want peace. The difference lies in how. Israel wants a mutual peace with parties that can respect each other and live together as neighbors like they have been able to do with both Egypt and Jordan. Hamas wants peace by eliminating Israel from the face of the earth. To give you a little background on Hamas here is some excerpts from their Covenant, published in 1988:

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

“Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts… from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realized.”

“…so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.”

“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

“I’m rubber and you’re glue. What ever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!”

Ok maybe that last one I made up but all the others I took directly from their Covenant. The bottom line is this. I have been to Israel. It is a beautiful country like none I have ever seen before. Yes it is officially a Jewish state but they also respect the freedom of persons to practice any religion they so choose. They have kept Jerusalem a free religious center for all people and have been the only government to do so and have pledged to continue to do so. Jerusalem is open to Jews, Muslims and Christians alike and if you have ever had the privilege of being able to feely walk through the Jewish Quarter to the Arab Quarter to the Christian Quarter, it is an amazing experience of sights sounds and smells that every person should experience at least once in their life. What the world and often the United States does not get is that Israel is a country that was born out of tragedy. It was born out the Holocaust. It was born out of survivors who never had a country they could call there own and always relied on others to protect them but never did. It was created by those who lost all trust in a world that they thought would defend them but instead turned there backs on them and when they finally did come to help, more then 6 million Jews were dead. It was created by those who had nothing more to lose, who vowed never forget and promised never again. It was created by those who turned tragedy into strength, Holocaust into homeland and made the words “next year in Jerusalem” a reality. They day Israel declared themselves a state they were attacked by every Arab nation that surrounded them and they fought back and won, and since that day they have been in a constant state of war. Israel has a right to defend itself and always will and when Israeli commandos board a ship that is in there own waters with out Israeli guns drawn only to confirm who is on board and what goods they are carrying and are instead attacked with metal polls, knives broken glass bottles, shot with live ammunition, and thrown off the side of the ship, you bet your sweet tuchas they have a right to defend themselves. And to these “peace activists” who were reportedly on board this ship, I say to you next time you board a ship to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, make sure you know who else is on board with you. Because when you’ve been fucked with as many times as the Jews have, you don’t take crap from no one. To wage war is easy, to wage peace is hard.